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Students present projects at 2009 ISEF

Flatworms, inflatable suits and alternatives to windmills make appearances in Reno

RENO, Nev. — The baking soda–volcano experiment is as ancient as a rotary phone for today’s teens.

Thousands of high school students spent May 13 manning their booths and explaining the research that won each a spot at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Projects included devices to improve gas mileage in today’s cars and to protect against fraud in the credit cards of tomorrow. One student spent hours investigating the light reflected by the moon, another delved into the genetic signature of colorectal cancer.

Energy was on the minds of several students, including Ryan Alexander, a sophomore from Plano, Texas. (Alexander will be skipping the next two grades and heading right to college in the fall). He developed a simple windmill that can be made out of bamboo or other plant materials and about one dollar’s worth of magnets, copper wire and alligator clips.

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